Socializing for children is probably as common as playing marbles on the sidewalk, or a game of jump rope in the driveway. Children have a basic, natural instinct to socialize and interact with others, especially other children. Because their nature is so unassuming and vulnerable, it’s important that as parents we learn to protect them from harmful social situations. We must also create friendly environments where they’re allowed to expand and utilize those natural social skills that they have.
When our children are young, like babies or toddlers, they’re with us most of the time, so keeping them safe in a social situation is very easy. When they’re playing at the park and interacting with other children, we can control things like hitting, sharing and helping them be polite to others. A safe social environment here would be to protect them physically.
To block other outside interferences that are not socially ideal, we must always look out for inappropriate situations. In restaurants, parks, grocery stores or any public places, never leave your child unattended, if even for a moment. Although all strangers re not predators, it’s always best to cautious than not. Even if you place them on a chair or bench beside you while you do something else, teach them to ask for your permission before they speak to a stranger or talk to them. In most situations, a stranger would often ask for mom’s permission before they give the child a compliment or a hello.
Social environments vary in so many ways. Instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach, it’s better to approach each situation with a different perspective and consider the outside factors. Take everything into consideration before making rash assumptions, and continue to teach your child(ren) about things that are appropriate and inappropriate. Over time, they will learn the differences and be able to assess it themselves.